The Watch D.O.G.S. program is an outstanding part of our school community. The basic idea is to get fathers and father figures to spend some time at the school—ideally a full school day, but if they can only manage a portion of the school day we will take whatever they have to offer. These volunteers can be a significant help to teachers and staff. As part of the student registration process, we have already gotten 26 fathers to sign up for the Watch D.O.G.S. program at Spring Lane Elementary!
Typically, they start out the day greeting students and assisting with directing traffic. They go out for all recesses and play with the children, and spend all lunch periods in the lunch room talking and interacting with the children (ideally, looking for those children that appear to need a friend). The rest of the day they are available as resources for teachers—they can work with small groups of children or even work one-on-one with children assisting with such things as reading, math, etc. It is also nice if the father has an opportunity to spend some time in his own student’s class (oftentimes the last period of the day and they take their student home with them). More information about the Watch D.O.G.S. program is available at www.fathers.com/watchdogs/
Because background checks are not a pre-requisite to volunteering through the Watch D.O.G.S. program, Watch D.O.G.S. should not be left alone with students. However, they can work with students at the back of the classroom, or even in a desk in the hallway near an open door to the classroom in view of the teacher in the classroom.
As noted on the attached flier, there will be a kick-off event for fathers and their students with free pizza and drinks on Thursday, September 14, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in the school cafeteria.